Your Keyboard Has a Tab Key for a Reason

I am a big fan of using styles in Word. If you understand and use them, Word becomes very powerful and, I think, more easy to use.

I understand, however, that not everyone uses or understands styles. I believe that the proper solution to this is good training. However, not everyone understands that. However, I implore everyone, whether you understand sytles or not; whether you use Word, WordPerfect, or OpenOffice; or whether you know how to type or not, DO NOT USE YOUR SPACEBAR FOR SPACING.

The space bar is to allow you to put a space between words and sentences (on a related note, please observe that with today’s proportional fonts you need only one space, not two, between sentences). The space bar is not to be used to add spaces to make your text line up. To do this, you use the Tab key.

Given the fact that Tab keys have been around for quite some time, I had thought that most people understood this. However, that is clearly not the case. I recently received a draft settlement agreement today from another attorney. When I started making some modifications to the document, I noticed that the formatting got all screwed up.

Once I clicked the paragraph button, I realized what the problem was. Instead of using tabs, the author has used spaces to create the illusion of tabs. Upon counting, it appears that it takes 12 taps of the space bar to simulate a 1/2″ tab stop.

I understand that some people don’t want to learn how to properly use software. That is your choice. If you make that choice, however, then hire someone to do your word processing for you. Please!!!!